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On Kaatru Veliyidai’s music – A conversation

Long ago (Okay! A year ago), I asked two of the most enthusiastic Tamil music fans who I know of to write about Kaatru Veliyidai’s music for Rahmania. Those guys did their homework and gave me the doc on March 25 2017, but I missed posting it then. Then the movie came to the theater screen, the Amazon Prime Video screen, Aditi Rao Hydari went around singing Vaan Varuvaan on TV shows and then people forgot about the movie. And I still hadn’t put the post up! Here’s the conversation between Karaboondi (K) and SoundTrackIndia (N) on the music of Kaatru Veliyidai! Better late than never! –Viju


Karaboondi (K): The release of a Mani album is like a festival and what better way to celebrate than discussing the album with friends.

SoundtrackIndia (N):  Indeed, sometimes you end up making friends because of the music. If I recall correctly, you became friends with V around the release of Kadal, and I around the release of OKK. And now, here we are discussing the latest release Kaatru Veliyidai for his blog.


K: Azhagiye, the meet cute song  came out first. The Charanam is all sorts of brilliant , hitting the high with Marukaadhe Nee and then going on to tease you to break into Nivedha. I find a lot of things I love in the Charanam compared to the Pallavi: Sid and Jonita playing hide and seek with Charan, the carnatic music flavor – What’s not to like about this song?

N: Of course! Starting with some catchy a cappella ish harmonies, the song hides no surprises and is one groovy number with no lull moments. Throw in a bit of Punjabi shake-a-leg, and Jonita’s na na na  the song is just so effervescent. Karky’s lucid lyrics hide no intentions either. You know what,  I’d like to dub this song the third of the “heralding triplet”, following Adiye! and Aye! Sinamika.


N: Moving on to Vaan, a quintessential track of the Mani-ARR soundtrack. An instance of variety of complex emotions in a song — melancholy, love, jealousy, longing. And all these connect with me so plainly.  Vairamuthu shines here with his inimitable command over the language. The tranquility about this song is ironically unsettling. Shashaa is sweetness personified here. How things confluence at the ”கர்வம் கொண்டால் கல்லாய் உறைவான்” phrase is an experience that is quite difficult to articulate — but go ahead and ask your headphones. As cliched as the ending fading refrain of காதல் வந்தால் கனியாய் நெகிழ்வான் is, it leaves me heavy-hearted.

K:  Vaan is a modern Aandal Paasuram tinged with longing. Leela’s anticipation is represented by that melancholy flute cutting through the piano notes, especially between 2:23 – 2:45. They remind you of Porkkalam Ange, don’t they? That Ennodu Irundhaal Evalo Ninaivaan line is beautiful and functional  characterizing the man’s profession as the other woman.

N: Aha! Gotcha.


K: Let’s take a small journey to some hill station where close friends have gathered to celebrate a wedding.  The Sangeet is an intimate affair around a campfire on a cool September Evening. The best man is strumming the guitar and the groom’s brother who is also the flautist is making moon’s eyes at the bridesmaid. The bride and the groom are cuddled up under a blanket under the stars , and all of a sudden a groomsman starts drumming on the stool . Soon the others join in with their plates , glasses and spoons  as the bride and groom start reminiscing about their story through song. They are so comfortable with the place they are in their life that they grin and nudge each other in a weird dance as the ribaldry continues. Somewhere down the line , the groom’s brother who is our flautist has fallen for the bridesmaid who is behind most of the jests and the culmination of a love saga sparks the beginning of another. N ! you know what I am talking about here .

N: Saarattu Vandiyila is good old Rahman, wielding an orchestra of gazillion instruments, both classical and otherwise, to a folksy tune sung by chorus, checking every item off a celebratory event list, in the process. Perhaps the first time Tipu gets a solo credit in an ARR album, he is effortlessly charming. Raihanah owns the song, and Nikita chips in with the best segment that goes Kathaazhang Kaattukkul just as the song crosses mid-point.

K: Aha! H. Sridhar moment!

N: There’s something about delayed gratification. Last time it was the Thalli Pogathey hook. And take a note of this song, BandBaajaBaaraat enterprises.

K: Saarattu was the third single that came out. It had a resemblance to Alangatti and Eechi, inspired by the Kummi format. There was that coincidental similarity to Dhavanipotta Deepavali in a line that created frenzy and drew battle lines across twitter. Despite all this, the song is addictive as hell, with instrumental filigrees that are super intricate decorating the intimate lyrics. You know, Rahman is also very naughty with this song. The soundtrack version of this song is slightly different than the single version with the production slightly tweaked to make the strings and flute sound crystal clear. The percussion is also less tinny, and the soundscape resembles an open revelry as opposed to an intimate celebration.

Now , lets come back from this imaginary wedding to the present. You are no longer in Coorg. You are at your desk. You miss the fun you had  at the wedding. You miss Kamalakar’s flute , the singers. You want to go back to the poetic lyrics tinged with Eroticism and Ribaldry that entices without crossing its limits . You close your eyes and hit the repeat button , again and again and again . The Siren Sings “Katthazha Kattukkul Matthalam Kekkudhu Sitthanai Rendukkum Kondattam”. You grab some camping goods and walk behind the Siren into that enticing forest leaving the mundane behind you.


N: Sigh! But then all drama culminates in Tango Kelaayo. While the singers only sing Kelaayo, the title of the track is a tip-off to us, the listeners, to check out the Tango the song is set in. Another conflicting song of the album, that contrasts the dual personalities of the male protagonist, with respective vocals by Hariharan and by Diwakar. Nice touch comes in the form of a processed female voice. The song is embellished with all grand sounds that a Tango needs. Chuckle if you noticed a nod to Sundari..Siriya Rettai Vaal Sundari!

K: (Chuckles) The orchestral flourishes indeed remind you of Sundari and the grandeur is remnant from Arima Arima.

N: I’m curious to know what imagery you have in mind for the Tango song. Don’t disappoint me!

K:  The warrior and lover are in love with the same woman and she is miffed. The warrior tries acting nonchalant, telling her she may come back if she needs to. She doesn’t give an inch and so the lover takes over and all this happens within the first two minutes of the song as Diwakar and Charan pass the baton between each other seamlessly. I had to listen to this song about 45-50 times to identify the two voices and I was so surprised by the Googly ARR bowled by having Charan sing the female voice – Sexy Indeed.

N: (Chuckles) Like the exotic Indai Haza! What do you think of the Tango template?

K: The tango rhythm is addictive and for the most part ARR has stuck to the instruments traditionally used in a tango. The flute which played a starring role in the other songs representing Leela, is missing though. The song paints the story for you keeping the mood light and playful.


K: Let’s talk about the rap fixture that is an ARR standard these days.

N: Following Magudi and Aattakkaara, we have Jugni, a Punjabi track, one that could find a place in an Imtiaz Ali’s album without any reservations. After Aaromale, we have a whole song set in a non-native language, dictated by the movie locales; and likely the sole montage song of the album. Sprinkled with Piano chords throughout, this song makes for a wonderful listen. The rap portion, which doesn’t seem to have had many takers, certainly brings in a new dimension to this song. I’ve got another song in my travel playlist. How about you?

K: Jugni is  the Punjabi Thenmerku Paruvakatru revamped with trance and rap.  Tejinder serenades the free spirited Heer who doesn’t want to be caught. She is on this never ending road trip — friends with you but not quite. A flute like instrument forms a repeating leitmotif along with the keys, tying this song thematically with Vaan and Saarattu. This is the perfect song for long summer road trips, where the days are filled with sunshine and the thought of doing something productive seems criminal.

K: You know N, I had very high expectations of Nallai Allai and therefore it disappointed me the most. This song has the best lyric Vairamuthu has written in ages. It has the perfect leading man voice behind the mic and Chinmayi is in scintillating form. It is simple, sweet and reminds you of Ek ladki ko dekha toh in places. But it doesn’t grow on me. I get the fact that the idea was to showcase the lyric but you need a stellar tune too. That said, I have started looping this song, because I cannot afford to stay mad at the singers.

N: Indeed, Sathya Prakash leads the vocals with grace and conviction, and it feels as if the composer made the song with the singer in mind. You’re right, it is very much a simple melody, one that took quite a while to grow on me, despite the ethereal cameo by Chinmayi in the interludes. But as you noted, the most striking quality about the song are the lyrics that singularly convey helplessness and conflict, which perhaps the hero is going through in his state of mind; it teeters on the edge of futility of his exercise vis-a-vis love. It is this nature of contrast that makes this song quite impossible to label as a breezy romantic number. Sample “Oligalin thedalgal …mounathil mudigindradhey”  for how forlorn he is. While this all could be reading between lines, I’m looking forward to see how it is picturized.


N: So, what do you think of the album?

K: See, in Kadal and OKK, ARR had delivered enticing soundscapes that were new to Tamil Cinema. KV sticks to soundscapes we have heard previously. Here the songs have a strong frame of reference to other melodies and hence don’t meet the standards set by this combination.  May be this was ARR’s brief . It is after all the 25th year of their association, making nostalgia inevitable. N , How do you like the album and what are your picks?

N: Hey, I’ll take nostalgia any day, and I’m almost entirely sold with this album. You know why I qualify it with ‘almost’, don’t you? Anyway, my picks are Vaan, Jugni, Kelaayo & Saarattu. In that order. Yours?

K: My preference is a little bit different: Saarattu , Kelayo , Jugni , Vaan  and Azhagiye in that order. (Chuckles) But this can change in a week. What do you think about V’s picks?

N: You mean, what *will be* V’s picks? We’ll have to wait and see.


PS: After a year almost, K says ‘I fell in love with Nallai Allai later and cannot get enough of the song!‘ How music changes us!


Thalli Pogathey

(A post by Deepi)

I watched Accham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada in the theatres and needless to say, it was good money down the drain. Having not listened to the songs at the time of their release too many times, I still did enjoy a pretty fruitful experience at the movies. Thalli Pogathey on the first (and multiple other listens) didn’t hold any specific impact for me. I remember thinking back then that it was an average song made even less memorable by the surprisingly below average picturisation of it.


But then I developed this recent affinity for this particular song and it’s been continuously looping in my playlist. The more I think about it, I like how right in the middle of the song we reach this dramatic point (with the female singer humming and the beats setting in) and it coincides with the narrative’s turning point; a bike crash and the possibility of life fading away now melding with the urgency and desperation of the lyrics and the mood of the song seem to make more sense (Nodi nodiyay neram kuraya! Yen kaadhal ayuzhl karaya!) This is probably the most addictive part of the song for me. I like how the song moves from the love-struck man beseeching for attention from his love interest to this mid-point of some kind of unexpected drama in their lives to moving towards just wanting to finally confess his feelings for her.

While the album in itself is pretty memorable, I don’t think I liked their placement in the narrative thread. It all happens so fast, as opposed to say how it was spaced in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya. In retrospect, I think Thalli Pogathey is one of the best placed songs that very precisely captures the tension in the storyline and elevates the mood, which is until then very light-hearted to the point that you aren’t interested in the proceedings and do not care about the leads’ romance. As a standalone album, it is pretty refreshing but then I suppose Time would determine how well it ages!

Song Video:

Happy Birthday A.R.Rahman

(Written by Aishwarya)

I think I’ve been listening to Rahman’s music forever. There are old home videos where Telephone Manipol plays in the background at a birthday party. There was a time my friends and I choreographed dance moves to Chaiyya Chaiyya when Dil Se came out. Once Sangamam released, I remember dad being enthralled by Shankar Mahadevan’s voice in Varaga Nadhikarai. I repeatedly danced to songs from Lagaan in school. But it wasn’t until years later when I started to take a special interest in Rahman’s music, and eventually music in general.

As an impressionable 12 year old, the Boys album changed my life (about which I have written on the blog with a cheesy title). I went through Rahman’s entire discography one by one between August and December 2003. Dad bought me a CD burner, and I used it to burn the songs of Enakku 20 Unakku 18 on it. I am sure I still have the CD somewhere. When Kangalal Kaidhu Sei released in early 2004, I remember my distinct disappointment. It was a Saturday morning, and I was home listening to the songs on I thought, “What are these songs….I DON’T LIKE THIS.” I eventually changed my mind.

I welcomed my teenage years with Aayitha Ezhuthu. Before the official launch, I obsessively listened to little snippets that were leaked online. I visited the movie’s official website every day. I had never been more excited about anything, and I have never felt that kind of excitement again either. When the album released, I lost my mind. I had cassettes of the album that I would play every night before I fell asleep. One day Yaakai Thiri was my favourite. The next day it was Dol Dol. On Tamil New Year the same year, I sat in front of the tv to watch a Rahman interview even though I had a final exam the following day. He played this amazing version of Jana Gana Mana. There was another interview with actor Vikram that year in which he was asked what songs he was listening to at the moment. Vikram said he was listening to Nenjam Ellam and that he loved the album. That made me ECSTATIC.

I spent my adolescence listening to Mangal Pandey during power outages, playing Swades on my grandfather’s cassette player, watching the RDB title track everytime it was on tv (which was once very hour), memorizing the lyrics to Machakari with my sister, trying to understand what was going on in the Sivaji soundtrack and so on. Also, I must confess that I gave Dil Gira Dafatan a serious listen only after Amit Trivedi mentioned it in one of his interviews. Thanks AT.

My anticipation for Rahman’s albums is different today. The manic energy is replaced by a mixture of nervousness and curiosity. I put the album on loop, and more often than not, I am left exclaiming, “Ah! Vintage Rahman!”

Happy Birthday to the man whose music has constantly given me company, challenged me and opened me up to a world of possibilities, and given me something to look forward to every few months. Rahman’s music also still makes me want to stop everything I am doing when Humma Humma is on.

 (My sister and me)

Rustic Rahman

(A post by @atlasdanced)

Everybody who was anybody growing up in TN in the 90s will tell you that the album, that turned Rahman from being talked about as the “new kid in the block taking the industry by storm creating interesting music with computer generated sounds” to someone who everyone started taking really seriously as a guy whose success wasn’t going to be with defined by just ‘sound’, was “kizhakku cheemaiyilE”.

Bharathiraja was no longer the director whose movies were going to be box-office hits because it was “A film by Bharathiraja” (his previous 5 thamizh films, captain magaL, nAdOdi thenRal, pudhu nellu pudhu nAththu, en uyir thOzhan & kodi paRakkudhu were disastrous flops). I will stick my neck out here and say that had it not been for the album and the rage it created, the man’s career could’ve hit rock bottom with a 6th. But boy how much the success of the album turned everyone into finally believing that the kid wasn’t a one trick pony! “mAnooththu mandhaiyilE”, “kaththAzha kAttu vazhi” & “edhukku poNdAtti” were such brilliantly done folk numbers that have stood the test of two decades’ time.

There was another movie set in the village, “Uzhavan”, that released around the same time. But it was so damn insufferable that even a decent soundtrack from Rahman couldn’t save it. Although it had just one folksy number, it was enough to make us know what the guy was capable of. ‘mAri mazhai’, in the eminently likeable voice of Shahul Hameed is another number i go back to every now and then.

A handful of such brilliant numbers, picturised in a village backdrop, followed over the years – “senthamizhnAttu thamizhachchiyE” from vaNdichchOlai sinrAsu, “nee kattum sElai” from pudhiya mannargaL, “mazhaiththuLi” & “varAha nadhikkaraiOram” from sangamam, “thirupAchchi aruvALa” from tajmahal (i am obviously not including the few lovely melodies/ballads set in a village backdrop here), but none as supreme, as standout, as complete as my all-time favourite song among such songs one of my all-time favourite songs – “kAdu pottakkAdu” from kaRuththammA.

Everything about this song is well done, the picturisation (check out the video…the movie was centered on the ‘female infanticide’ theme…almost every stage of a woman’s life in a village is covered in 5 minutes of directorial/editorial brilliance…sigh, if only the entire movie had that kind of quality overall!).

The lyrics..ah the lyrics! Vairamuthu is in elements and shows you how much of emotional value lyrics can bring to a song. Every line makes you realise and even feel a bit awkward about the privileges of an urban life.

And what to say of the rendition by the third of the holy trinity of thamizh cinema’s male playback singing of my generation. SPB is a mad genius rockstar, KJY is gifted and should sing all our lullabies but ‘Malaysia’ Vasudevan is the voice that makes you appreciate the extraordinary art of (at the risk of sounding like a The Hindu katcheri review) – soulful rendition. Check out the “ada pOda vekkakkEdu” around 1:59-2:00. An entire life resigned to the tragicomedy of being a puppet in nature’s scheme of things brought out in half a second of nonchalant snigger while singing about it!

I have always thought it was a masterstroke to make Bharathiraja sing those opening lines…i mean, can it even get any rustic?

The minimalistic arrangement fits perfectly well with the mood of the song and one of those songs that i’ve probably heard a zillion times by now. It is *that* special.

“பட்ட மரத்து மேல…எட்டிப்பாக்கும் ஓணான் போல வாழ வந்தோம் பூமி மேல” (because some lines shouldn’t even be transliterated, leave alone translated.)

Am I a Rahmaniac? Let’s just say i’ll probably be the first guy who’d take a dig at a lot of those as ‘Rahmehniacs’. So why am i writing here? I’m just tired of reminding even my good friends that I am a fan of the man’s music too. Just because i take a dig (almost always in good humour) at some of his recent works, doesn’t make me dislike the other 100+ songs that i love. Does my opinion even matter? No. Then why?

I have been wanting to write in this blog for a while, primarily because the good folks who are managing this blog are two of the nicest folks you’d come across online. People whose ‘mania’ i respect & relate to. This is just for them and of course, the music we all love.

That One Song: Part 4

This is Part 4 of the 4-Part ‘That One Song’ series for Rahmania’s fourth anniversary. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.  


A few days ago, when Aishu asked me to write about one of my favourite ARR songs and added her suggestion (i.e. which song I should write about), I immediately agreed but wondered about the suggestion. I started evaluated other songs too. Then lighting suddenly struck and I immediately stopped thinking about other song choices.

You see, one day, as a wee blogger, wondering what I’d do if I met someone (an Indian that is) who did not know who ARR was, I started making a list (a sort of “ARR for Dummies”, if you will) and posted on my blog. The 1st song on my list that day? Paakathey Paakathey (Gentleman). That was in 2005.

The one line that you will hear from a lot of ARR fans is that his songs will grow on you slowly. This is not always true. Like Paakathey, specifically in my case. The cheerful fun song with the catchy whistling and the violin interludes stole this Rahmaniac’s heart at the first listen itself. And today, 20 years since I first heard it, this song has not aged on me at all. And I can safely say that of all the earworms I get, this one song still repeats the most.

Paakathey not the most popular song from the Gentleman soundtrack by any measure (Chikkubukku, anyone?), but to me, this was the song of the soundtrack, that one song that will always be in my personal all time ARR top 10 list.

And hey, whatever happened to Minmini?


Priya (@enthahotness)

Netru Illatha Matram from Pudhiya Mugam is one of the first Rahman songs I can remember. I was ten and spending the summer with my cousins in Chikmagalur. We didn’t have a TV so our time was divided playing carrom, exchanging WWF cards and listening to the tape recorder. That’s what we called it, the tape recorder. When it was my turn we only listened to one song. I rewound that tape until I had written down all the lyrics, or what I thought were the lyrics and sang along to the happiest song I’d heard.

Two decades later as I watch a deliriously happy Revathi running through a field of flowers hugging everything in her sight it doesn’t feel odd because that’s how this song makes you feel – insanely happy. It has remained my theory that those last fifteen seconds of spectacular flute were added to trick you into hitting repeat. It works every time. Try it.



Vennilave (Minsara Kanavu): Probably my first favorite from A. R. Rahman after reaching the part of childhood when one starts to recognize and enjoy music. Who else other than Hariharan and Sadhana could have done justice to this song in that period. You lie down there and wonder if the moon will ever come and listen to them and feel the same way. Surely, this one is up there with other melodies which can only be compared to a mother putting a child to sleep with a sweet request.



Thirakkadha Kattutukulle (En Swaasa Katre): This song instantly takes me a different world where there is abundant happiness and only positive emotions. Every time I listen to it, it is as if a portal opens that leads me to a secret utopia safely tucked away by nature, only accessible to a fortunate few. Fortunate indeed are we, to be able to surrender ourselves to such a work of art that presents an experience that transcends its own musical form and touches an emotional chord instead, like the tiny fingers of a new born child reaching out and clasping its mother’s hand. Fortunate indeed are we, to experience the magician that is A.R.Rahman.



If you had asked me on my most favourite ARR song two weeks ago it would’ve been this. A month ago was this. 3 months ago . 6 months ago… wogay wogay, so it keeps changing according to Ragu kaalam, Yama gandam, Kaarthigai Somavaram, Ashtami, Navami & so on.

Recently Sun TV’s flashback section started airing all ’90s ARR songs (Yabbah, I feel like a kezhavi!) And this is one song, whenever on air, takes me back to the fun days in Madras with friends – TVS champ, Kinetic honda rides from Besant Nagar beach to Mount Road Khadi bhavan, Nungambakkam Landmark to …. Pantheon Road shopping, the vetti days spent at Gangotree, Hot Chips, Appappo (Ethiraj) College, friends’ places… Aahaa, the carefree 5 years with the maddest, funnest gumbal were indeed the best. I miss my friends terribly & so so wish I could back to the fun days in Madras.

Shot across Madras featuring Prabhudheva, directed by Shankar with music by Isaippuyal A.R.Rahman, this song with its lyrics, rendition and music truly captures what it was all about – No kavalai, only kalaai! This one’s for you Ush, Rasiks, Tees, Vones, Deepz, Sachu, Kripa and all my Madras dosths – Namma policy eppavume Take it easy policydaan

Thank you Rahmania and congratulations on completing four years! Here’s to many many more.

That One Song: Part 3

This is Part 3 of the 4-Part ‘That One Song’ series for Rahmania’s fourth anniversary. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here

Mahesh (Cornerd)

It had been a few years since Rahman was at the centre of my universe. I thought I had grown up, and mistakenly, for a brief while, even thought grown beyond Rahman. The delusion of an adult with a new found exposure and appreciation of a bit more varied music than what I was used to. I still cared about every Rahman album but with a somewhat diluted intensity of a fanboy at the crossroads. It’s hard to pinpoint one song, rather than a phase, which slapped me out of the delusion , but if I should, then it has to be Tu bole from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.  It was neither Rahman’s first foray into jazz nor necessarily his best for Iruvar fans might be up in arms. But this was Rahman subtly, surreptitiously pushing himself and us out of his comfort zone. Enough of the ostentatious, rich orchestration of his Bollywood soundtracks of that time. This was Rahman sucking the weight out of his composition and letting it float in the air like only he can. But that even the Rahman of old did it wonderfully well – Kadhal sadugudu, anyone? This wasn’t just about letting it float, but how? Except the two lines of the pallavi, there’s no hint of a hook at all. The quirky, staccato melody lines in the voice of a lazy, happy, semi-drunk Rahman crooning as if it’s a duet with the Saxophone swirling in and out of the song takes an amorphous shape all its own. This isn’t a genre-defining or genre-bending song, nor is it an astonishing melody which hits the gut and leaves you transfixed.  This is just an utterly delightful lighthearted song but with the unmistakable signature of Rahman stamped all over it.



The greatest Rahman songs face this grueling test of time inside my head, a sort of extreme transformation from ‘why does this song exist?’ to ‘how does this song exist?’. Chithirai Nila took its own while at that, but I never imagined it would fill my mornings and round off my nights like it did, like it does. Maybe if this was the most popular number from Kadal, I wouldn’t have felt this strange connect, exclusivity with it. Happy, sad, indifferent, lifeless; any emotion I’d throw, it would echo back from this infinite soundscape of surprises; the joy of floating away with those serene riffs emanating from the continuum fingerboard; the feeling of being engulfed in the French horn crescendo, soaring over Vairamuthu’s “Naalaiyai thirandhaal nambikkai sirikkum.



Vellai pookal invokes an emotion within me that I fail to comprehend. Or, maybe the song is trying to tell us that we are not to over-analyze the simple things in life. Who said music must be pompous to be appreciated?



The closet Rahmaniac in me came to see daylight about 4 years ago, when the album Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya was released. It’s almost impossible for me to speak of Rahman’s work without mentioning this album. It lends a very airy and light feeling to the soul every time I listen to it. Particularly the song Omana Penne! The lyrics and the picturisation conveys the emotion so beautifully. What with that naadhaswaram bit setting in and the lovely girl pulling her hand away playfully, ever so teasingly as he looks on in longing, I just lean back and close my eyes as the tunes steal me away to a faraway land.


Maryam Javed

First of all, I feel privileged to be invited in to pen down, rather type in my thoughts on the Indian Mozart’s masterpiece. So thank you, Aishwarya for the same. And, Oh my God! It’s so hard to pick ONE song to write about. So, ‘the one’ song is a part of the music album of Delhi 6. The album released five years back and that’s when, for the very first time, I fell in love with a song! “Rehna Tu, hai jaisa tu‘. The first line of this song defines the meaning of true love. Although this song is primarily about romantic love, to me it’s about loving friends, family, colleagues or even pets, basically everyone who is a part of my life. To me, true love is about loving people with their imperfections and never asking them to change. And it sounds more convincing in Rahman’s voice.

That One Song: Part 2

This is Part 2 of the 4-Part ‘That One Song’ series. You can read Part 1 here


Rasathi, or the Big Voice and Brief Life of Shahul Hameed: Unfortunately, most of us will never know what Shahul Hameed looked like when he was singing Rasathi from Thiruda Thiruda. The closest we can get to that knowledge is through this striking cover, and the visible effort put in by a very talented lead singer. What remains to be said about Rasathi that hasn’t already been said in many different ways? Nothing, except that even today it surprises and takes back in its various different forms. Back to where cows amble, time stands still, and the green rolls on for miles — a perfect and misty, quiet, cold morning. In paradise.

Akshay Bhatnagar

I’ve never had a favourite song when it comes to Rahman. But one song that particularly comes to my mind is “Yeh Haseen Wadiya“. The beauty of this song is not just in its lyrics, but also in the freedom you sense when you listen to the music given to this masterpiece. It awakens my soul to a point that I lose track of my worries and troubles. This has been one song which I’ve listened to for years but never got bored of it ever. There was never a point where I started resenting this song because of listening to it on repeat for days on end. The lyrics are good, but the music makes it outstanding.

Harshitha Ravi

Choosing one favourite is going to be impossible, so I’ll just talk about the one song that cropped into my head the minute I thought of A. R. Rahman. Well, New York Nagaram is the chosen one. The album, Sillunu Oru Kaadhal, had two of Rahman’s most popular songs in recent times. While the whole world went for Munbe Vaa, New York Nagaram stuck with me from the very first listen (rare trait in Rahman songs). A song sung by the genius himself, he starts with a very interesting bit of humming. He then takes it to a whole new level, a level which induces goosebumps each time one listens, in the verses that follow. He brings the perfect tone to the song – keeping it soft and low. It is a song that showcases long distance separation in a relationship, and to this day it is the one song I go to when I undergo the feeling of separation from near and dear ones.

Dipak Ragav 

For me it was 2003 The Unity Of Light Concert that made me a proper fan. If I have to narrow it down to one song, I will say Maula Maula (Arziyan) from Delhi-6. It is hard to give reasons especially considering I don’t understand Hindi, so I have no clue about the meaning of the song but there is such a divine effect every time I hear it. Also, Kailash Kher is simply brilliant in this song.

P.S. Sureshkumar 

“Isn’t this the best A.R.Rahman song or just the best song ever?” I ask myself whenever the song “The Journey Home” is on loop in my mind. If I have to settle with just one moment in a song to illustrate Rahman’s innate genius, it would be that second in this song when the strings swell up and pour down heavily like a rain to reprise the main motif towards the end of the pivotal line of the song “Sometimes standing still could be the best move you ever make”. The exhilaration in having to make no choices at all couldn’t be expressed better in music. Most of us in today’s world are perennially in-transit, hanging on to a place or something while always longing for a return to home, whatever, wherever or whenever the Home is. Journey Home is one song that fits all ever. And to me, Rahman’s music is home, and irrespective of what I listen to, the journey has always been towards that moment of listening to a new piece of Rahman’s music for the first time.